Lazy weekend

Well, I've not had quite such an unproductive weekend in a very long time. I read a novel...I'd say the first in a very long time, but I did just finish Anna Karenina not very long ago. This was a modern novel though. I have trouble exercising discipline when reading fiction; so I just tend to stick to non-fiction which is easier to put down when duty calls. The book was The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter (I think). It was very good. Only a handful of uses of bad language which were entirely appropriate for the contexts. The black pawn wins in the end, but not in the way one thinks it's supposed to. I also did some genealogy today. I have subscribed to a Swedish genealogy database of parish records. The church was mandated to maintain these records, and so at least theoretically one can go back quite a ways--into the 1600s-- in her ancestry. I was able to go back to my great-great-great-great grandparents (six out of the 8 who were my great grandfather's great-grandparents). One of those, I also have one more generation back. The daughter of those two (the couple representing the furthest back generation) from whom I am descended was born in 1757. Her husband was born in 1745. As I was going through birth records and "paged" through the year 1776, it was really weird to think of these people being in Sweden at the time of the Declaration of Independence. My great-great grandfather John Erick Olson was my most recent immigrant ancestor arriving in the US in 1871. My earliest that I know of came in 1628 to Massachusetts Bay Colony. John Erick Olson (Olaf's son) was born Jan Eric and his father's name was Olaf Persson (Peter's son). So my great-grandfather who was born in Pennsylvania and his older brother who was born in Sweden were the first of the family NOT to use the patronymic naming system. I had no idea that anyone was still using the patronymic system so late. Fascinating, isn't it? :-) My genealogy site

Happy birthday, Great-grandma Dulcie

August 27, 1872 was my great-grandmother's birthday. Her name was really Amanda Sarah Jane (Green) Van Hoesen, but even on her tombstone the name Dulcie is given. She would be 135 years old today. vanhoesen1909r She's the only female in this photo. The seated man is her father-in-law, Albertus Van Hoesen and the three boys are my grandfather's three older brothers. This photo was taken in 1909 before my grandfather was born (the one that's in the "The Three Grandpas" photo from a couple of weeks ago. A picture of her husband as a little boy with his father can be seen by looking at the banner of my genealogy Web page. They are the family farthest on the left in the banner. I found this newspaper article about my great-grandmother while looking through newspapers on microfilm. I had never heard anything about this from my family and was shocked that this kind of thing happened in 1918. (I am not a Jehovah's Witness)
Last Tuesday morning it was currently rumored on our streets that 3 residents of this city and section, Mrs. R.L. Van Hoesen, E.J. French and Chas. Franke, and G.B. Griffin of Mammoth Spring, had been arrested and later scourged, tarred and feathered by indignant citizens of Walnut Ridge, Ark., and upon getting in communication with that town by long distance telephone, the rumor was verified. A mass meeting of the citizens was called for 2 o'clock at the Y.M.C.A. to take action in regard to allowing these parties to remain in the county, although they had families here. On the arrival of train No. 104 from Arkansas, a committee of citizens met the train and escorted Messrs. French and Franke before the mass meeting. The two men made statements and disclaimed any intention of violating the law, declaring that they were loyally devoted to our government and that they were unaware of any treasonable sentiments attached to the papers they were distributing in Arkansas. After hearing their statements the meeting voted to permit the parties to go without molestation on the promise that they would distribute no more literature of the character of “The Kingdom News,” and also promised to participate in no further meetings under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association. The causes that led up to the arrest and punishment of these parties were these: The three Thayerites and Griffin of Mammoth Spring went to Hoxie and Walnut Ridge for the purpose of aiding in the distribution of a paper known as “The Kingdom News,” which contains a plea to the government for permission to circulate the book, “The Finished Mystery,” which has been banded by the Department of Justice for alleged disloyal sentiments. A correspondent of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal writing from Walnut Ridge thus describes what occurred there: “Tar and feathers were liberally applied to four men here about midnight last night, after a committee of 250 men had taken them from the county jail and whipped them in front of an automobile garage in the heart of the business district”. “The men and a woman, all over fifty years of age, had been arrested by Sheriff J.C. Hall for distributing propaganda of the International Bible School. Each had scattered more than a hundred copies of 'Kingdom News,' a publication protesting against the government of a book called the 'Finished Mystery,' characterized by the Department of Justice as 'dangerous propaganda.'” “These people were working separately. The woman and Duncan were arrested here Sunday afternoon. French and Franke were taken at Hoxie the same day, and Griffin was apprehended here Monday.” “Sheriff Hall has determined to allow the prisoners to make bond in the sum of $1,000 each for their appearance at the orders of the government, and had planned to take them last night to Mammoth Spring, where they expected to find sureties.” “As he left the county attorney's office with them, however, a throng of citizens refused to permit their departure, but allowed him to return to the jail with them. Matters quieted down and the sheriff went home, hiding the keys to the jail.” “Under the bright moonlight, the citizens committee of 250 reformed about 11 o'clock, went to the jail and, with a heavy timber 12 feet long, battered the door down and proceeded to knock the locks from the cells of the prisoners. There is no night guard at the jail. The woman was not molested, but the four men protesting they had done nothing wrong and that they were loyal, were taken at the head of the procession into the center of the business district.” “ A barrel had been provided together with plenty of tar, with which creosote had been mixed, feathers, a strap and a light buggy whip. One at a time the captives were stripped, laid over the barrel, whipped effectively, tarred and feathered, permitted to replace his garments, and told to 'hike'.”

Causes of the Civil War

For a time, I was influenced by reading things I'd not read before about the causes of the Civil War so that I came to believe that states' rights was the main issue and that slavery was only one way that states' rights was asserted. Then I read Arguing About Slavery which every educated person should read. It's an eye-opener in demonstrating how the South pretty much played the "States' Rights" card when it was convenient for themselves and were not at all consistent in the decades before the Civil War in upholding the Constitution. All that is the preamble to my real post since I've written about the above book before. I am trying to sort through some piles of papers that have built up for months and found a copy of a speech I had printed from the Internet. It is the speech called the Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens (vice-president of the Confederacy) explaining the new constitution of the Confederacy. The speech was delivered in Savannah, Georgia on March 21, 1861 (a lot of the states'-rights-as-cause-of-the-Civil-War reasoning was given after the war, although that's another story--one that I've not researched thoroughly). Here are some excerpts from Stephens's speech:
The new consitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution --African slavery as it exists amongst us--the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right...The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away....Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to the superior race--is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth...The errors of the past generations still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those in the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind--from a defect in reasoning.It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just--but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.
...May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of nature's laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made "one star to differ from another star in glory." The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders "is become the chief of the corner"--the real "corner-stone"--in our new edifice.
Well, there you have it in the words of the vice-president of the Confederacy. I guess technically one could say that the war was fought over states' rights--the South were not being allowed the right to keep slaves. But very definitely their secession from the Union was because of the slavery issue.

The Three Grandpas

grandpas I've been working since sometime yesterday to sort through slides that belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Lee (my dad's parents). It's easy to get distracted. I wanted to take a photo of all the piles of slides on my desk, but the batteries aren't recharging. Anyway, this photo is interesting because it's the "Three Grandpas". The one on the left is my great-grandfather Fred Olson (my dad's maternal grandfather). His father was born in Sweden. The middle one is Grandpa Ira Lee (my dad's dad). The one on the right is Grandpa Edgar Van Hoesen (maternal grandfather). The Lees were here in the 1700's (I've gotten back to 1790 in my research), and the Van Hoesens were here since 1639 in New Amsterdam.

Serendipidy

baleskidsAfter visiting no. 2 son, we decided to leave early on Tuesday to stop at Newport, Indiana where we have Edwards and Brinley ancestors. We first went to the Newport Library where we found a few things and then the courthouse where I looked through guardianship records since my Margaret Edwards ancestress had become orphaned in about 1851.  At the public library, there were about four or five big fat binders of  listings in which cemeteries of Vermillion County were listed in alphabetical order with further listings of those buried in those cemeteries. I asked if there was a master index for the cemetery listings, but alas was told that there was not. The man working at this library was a wonderfully helpful person. I pulled the first binder off the shelf. Since I knew which two of the five townships my Edwards ancestors had been, I skipped the first two cemeteries which were in other townships. The first cemetery listed for Helt township was Bales Cemetery. I could not believe my good fortune (aka serendipidy) to find my Edwards ancestors in the very first cemetery listing I looked. So after visiting the courthouse; Sam, Abbie, and I were on our way to the cemetery way out in the country on a farm.

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